Decathlon YULEX100 Still amv bbdo

Decathlon hacks surf cams to promote natural rubber wetsuit

The 'From Tree To Sea' campaign, created by AMV BBDO, launches the world's first wetsuit made from 100 per cent certified natural rubber

By Creative Salon

Decathlon's wetsuit Yulex100 is the first (and currently only) alternative to neoprene wetsuits made from 100 per cent certified natural rubber. Developed by AMV BBDO, the 'From Tree To Sea' campaign hacked surf cams worldwide to promote the product directly to the water sports community.

The creative agency shot the majority of the campaign on existing cameras located at key surf spots across the world providing essential live information on tides and conditions to water sports enthusiasts.

The 60-second film opens with a series of live feeds from surf cams. Suddenly, people appear in the frames holding up signs to the cameras. Each sign was created from objects found on or associated with the beach, such as paddles, surfboards, driftwood, parasols, and big letters written in the sand. When stitched together, the signs announce the launch of the new Yulex100 wetsuit.

For decades, watersports lovers had no alternative but to use neoprene wetsuits, despite their environmental impact. Alternatives to neoprene do exist on the market, such as wetsuits made from 85 per cent natural rubber and 15 per cent synthetic rubber, however Decathlon partnered with American-based company, Yulex, to push those boundaries further.

After two years of rigorous research, including over 50 lab tests and 50 different formulas, the company has succeeded in producing the first neoprene alternative that is entirely free of synthetic rubber, sourced exclusively from PEFC or FSC certified forests.

The first and only alternative to neoprene made from 100% certified natural rubber, Yulex100 will be initially introduced in Decathlon’s beginner junior shorty range, which accounted for 34 per cent of the surf wetsuits sales in 2023, and in the snorkelling tops, representing 27 per cent of the diving and snorkelling sales for the company.

This significant shift marks the beginning of a journey to eliminate neoprene from Decathlon‘s entire wetsuit range. Future expansions are planned for adult ranges and technical solutions are actively being explored by our teams for other watersports like diving and open-water swimming that require specific technical solutions.

Most of the production was carried out remotely with LA-based filmmaker Bob Partington, through OB42, directing the shoot via live surf cams liaising directly with teams in Portugal and France. The biggest challenge of shooting this way was getting close enough to the cameras to make the signs legible, which led to some creative moments with ladders, poles and people climbing on each other's shoulders.

Anna Turrell, chief sustainability officer at Decathlon said, “As the world's largest sporting goods brand and retailer, we believe in reshaping the way we do business to reduce the impact we have on the planet. To do this requires a rewiring of the way we think and act as a business. Today, we’re proud to launch Yulex100 which represents an industrial revolution in watersports equipment, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation”.

Raphael Goumain, chief marketing officer at Decathlon said: “At Decathlon, innovation is at the heart of everything we do. We work hard to break new ground, from our new sustainable Yulex wetsuit made using 100 per cent natural rubber to the way we market it, reaching those who will use it via a unique media channel they watch every day."

Jack Smedley and George Hackforth Jones, creative directors at AMV BBDO, said, “The surfing community is like no other. They have unique habits and customs, so we needed to speak to them in a way that felt authentic. ‘Hacking’ the surf cams they use every day allows us to speak to them in their own language”.

The creative will run in 17 markets, including the UK, Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa. The 360 campaign also includes 20-second and 15-second films, which will run online with supporting in-store, experiential, press and OOH work.


Client: Decathlon

Brand: Decathlon - Yulex100

Campaign title: From tree to sea

Client name: Raphael Goumain, Caroline Marien, Damien De Blignieres and Jean Chevalier

Creative Agency: AMV BBDO

CCO: Nicholas Hulley and Nadja Lossgott

Executive Creative Director:Laura Rogers

Creative Directors: Jack Smedley and George Hackforth-Jones

Creative Team: David Westland and Jeremy Tribe

Agency Planning Team: Alice Aldridge and Rebecca Brett

Agency Account Team: Bruna Bechelli, Pink Kitsawat and David Stokes

Agency Producer: Rhiannon Nicol (Photography) and Alex Warren (Film)

Agency Designer: Simon Dilks

Production Company: OB42

Director: Bob Partington

Film Prod Co. Producer (Film): Julia Frost

Post-production Company: Red Studios

Sound studio: Creative Outpost

Audio Post-production: Creative Outpost

Photographer: Simon Winnall

Photography Prod Co: Picture Club

Retouching: Massive Face


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